Posts Tagged ‘employee referrals’

Networking is Still #1 Source of Employment Recruiting

May 25, 2010

In a recent article at the American Express’ online website, Restaurant Source reported that word of mouth and networking continue to be the best tools in the competitive search for hourly rate employees. This is similar to trends in finding customers.

Referral Program Offers Huge Incentives for Employee Referrals

“Our number one source of hourly staff is employee referrals,” says Armando Lopez, director of field human resources at O’Charley’s.

Their referrals represented 28% of new hires last year. O’Charley’s has a referral program that pays out $100 for each hourly referral, another $50 if the person is hired, and $50 at the end of a two-week training period. Armando reports that these referral hiring costs are about half the cost of traditional methods of recruiting such as newspaper, radio ads, and flyers.  He adds the biggest benefit is in retention.

Lopez further reported, “The first weeks, which can be bumpy, are made easier because the new hire is working alongside the person who recommended them.”  He also said they don’t forget the employees who make referrals, even if their recommended person isn’t hired.  The restaurant sends them a thank you note and movie tickets as a way of fueling the program and keeping the employees interested in making further referrals.

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

In addition, when restaurants like O’Charley’s and Carino’s Italian Grill open new restaurants, they research neighborhoods and meet with important community members. Their managers do full online research to educate themselves on local schools and organizations within a certain radius of the new restaurant.

When they meet with groups and attend meetings, they let the community know that they are looking for employees. O’Charley’s recommends that their managers visit churches, schools, and community centers and offer to donate product or gift cards in exchange for a chance to speak to congregations, faculty, career counselors, etc.

“These meetings help get the word out that we’re looking to hire, and help integrate us in the community,” says Armando.